- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 29, 2004

RICHMOND (AP) — Barring intervention by the U.S. Supreme Court, a self-described “high priest” of a pagan religion will be executed tomorrow for fatally stabbing a fellow inmate.

Michael W. Lenz, 40, was sentenced to die for stabbing Brent Parker 68 times with a homemade knife at the Augusta Correctional Center four years ago.

He was scheduled to be put to death by injection at 9 p.m. tomorrow at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, Va.

Condemned inmates are given a choice of lethal injection or electrocution. Lenz did not make a choice, so the default method of injection as prescribed by law will be used, said Larry Traylor, a state Department of Corrections spokesman.

Lenz has an appeal pend-ing before the Supreme Court. He had not filed a clemency request with Gov. Mark Warner, said a spokesman for the governor.

Lenz declined a telephone interview from the Greensville prison where he is being held and which is just a few feet from the execution chamber that houses the electric chair and the gurney used for lethal injections. He argued at his July 2000 trial that he feared Parker and killed him in self-defense.

Lenz, then serving a seven-year sentence for a string of burglaries in Prince William County, said he was the high priest of a Nordic cult called Asatru. Parker was trying to bully him out of the cult, Lenz testified.

Lenz also said he was “protecting the honor” of Nordic gods by killing Parker. He and a friend, Jeffrey Remington, attacked Parker during an Asatru ceremony while surrounded by witnesses.

Remington committed suicide Feb. 23 by hanging himself with a bedsheet while on death row.

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